if push comes to shove

if push comes to shove

If the situation deteriorates or becomes desperate; if drastic measures are needed. If push comes to shove, I have some extra savings I could tap into. We'll at least have some leverage in the negotiations if push comes to shove.
See also: come, if, push, shove

when push comes to shove

When the situation deteriorates or becomes desperate; when drastic measures are needed. When push comes to shove, I have some extra savings I could tap into. We'll at least have some leverage in the negotiations when push comes to shove.
See also: come, push, shove

when push comes to shove

 and if push comes to shove
Fig. when things get a little pressed; when the situation gets more active or intense. When push comes to shove, you know I'll be on your side. If push comes to shove at the meeting, the front office can back you up with some statistics.
See also: come, push, shove

push comes to shove, if

Also, when push comes to shove. When matters must be confronted, when a crucial point is reached, as in If push comes to shove, the Federal Reserve Board will lower the interest rate, or They supposedly support equality, but when push comes to shove they always seem to promote a man instead of a woman . This term comes from rugby, where, after an infraction of rules, forwards from each team face off and push against one another until one player can kick the ball to a teammate and resume the game. Its figurative use dates from the 1950s. Also see the synonym if worst comes to worst.
See also: come, if, push

when push comes to shove

or

if push comes to shove

COMMON If you talk about what someone will do when push comes to shove or if push comes to shove, you are talking about what they will do when it becomes necessary to do something difficult. They knew they could sit back, and when push came to shove I'd do all the work. They wouldn't support you, sir. If push came to shove, they wouldn't be behind you. Compare with when it comes to the crunch.
See also: come, push, shove

when (or if) push comes to shove

when action must be taken; if the worst comes to the worst. informal
2001 Financial Director When push comes to shove, investors are not always impressed with promises of jam tomorrow.
See also: come, push, shove

if/when ˌpush comes to ˈshove

(informal) if/when there is no other choice; if/when everything else has failed: I don’t want to sell the house, but if push comes to shove, I might have to.
Shove means to push somebody in a rough way.
See also: come, if, push, shove

if push comes to shove

verb
See also: come, if, push, shove

when push comes to shove

and if push comes to shove
phr. when things get a little pressed; when the situation gets more active or intense. If push comes to shove, the front office can help with some statistics.
See also: come, push, shove

push comes to shove, if/when

If/when matters become serious; when the situation is crucial; if worst comes to worst. This term, with its further implication that action should back up words, appears to have originated in African-American English around the middle of the twentieth century. Murtagh and Harris used it in Cast the First Stone (1958): “Some judges talk nice and polite. . . . Then, when push comes to shove, they say, ‘Six months.’”
See also: come, if, push
References in periodicals archive ?
Russia and China are also ready to lend a helping hand if push comes to shove.
VIX equity volatility is 3% lower near 23.76 with stocks still higher, but a retest of the 26.0 December high area could quickly see a run at 28.84 October highs if push comes to shove. Pullbacks are supported at 20.0 and 16.0.
And how can he be certain that if push comes to shove, Jeremy Corbyn will remain neutral in any future conflict?
He fumed: "If push comes to shove I will mix the cement myself and fill in the holes.
If push comes to shove in the high school hallway, don't count on an apology and handshake to end the matter.
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